RAJAR Results Q3 2004: Capital And Heart Feel The Heat

RAJAR Results Q3 2004: Capital And Heart Feel The Heat

The latest RAJAR audience figures for the three months to September reveal a poor performance for leading London radio stations Capital and Heart, which saw their weekly reach decline year on year as listeners switched to rivals such as Magic and Kiss.

Capital 95.8 FM continued to see its grip on London listening loosen in the three months to September with weekly reach declining by 4.3% year on year to just under the 2.2 million mark as Johnny Vaughan settled in as host of the station’s flagship breakfast show.

The figures show that Vaughan is not yet as popular in the all important toast and marmalade slot as his heavyweight predecessor, Chris Tarrant, who presented the show for nearly twenty years. However, Capital has increased its weekly reach by a healthy 3.1% period on period suggesting that Vaughan is rapidly building a solid audience base.

Things were less than rosy for rival Heart 106.2, which suffered a sharp 7.1% year on year decline in weekly reach to just above the 1.8 million mark. However, the station recently recently revamped its image and hiked up its adspend by around 20% in an attempt to knock Capital off the much coveted top spot (see Heart Rebrands As It Sets Sights On Capital).

Emap’s Magic 105.4 was the biggest beneficiary of listener migration in the three months to September with its weekly reach jumping by a healthy 11.7% year on year to just under the 1.6 million mark. The chart-focused station for 35 to 44 year-olds is attempting to further strengthen its position with a £1.5 million television campaign featuring key artists such as Will Young, Kylie and George Michael (see Magic Attempts To Cast Spell Over London Listeners).

Emap’s Kiss 100 also put in an impressive performance with its weekly reach climbing by 1.9% in year on year analysis to just over 1.5 million. The dance music offering already appears to be reaping the benefits of a recent cross-media push targeting its core youth audience of 15 to 24 year-olds (see Emap Unveils Massive Advertising Push For Kiss).

Elsewhere, Capital’s alternative music station Xfm appears to be in rude health with listening up by almost 14% year on year to well over the half a million mark. The station’s increasing popularity has prompted bosses to bid for a new FM licence in Manchester in an attempt to further extend its offering outside the capital (see Xfm To Broadcast In Manchester Ahead Of FM Licence Bid).

September 2004 RAJAR Weekly Reach (000s) Comparisons
Station Survey Period Ending Sep 2003 Ending Sep 2004 % Change
BBC London 94.9 Q 441 520 17.9
Capital 95.8 FM Q 2,269 2,172 -4.3
Capital Gold London Q 1,017 745 -26.7
Choice FM London Q 415 383 -7.7
Easy Radio (was Mean Country) Q 182 40 -78.0
Heart 106.2 FM Q 1,948 1,810 -7.1
Jazz FM (London) Q 833 845 1.4
Kiss 100 FM Q 1,499 1,527 1.9
LBC 97.3 Q 558 506 -9.3
LBC News 1152 Q 279 284 1.8
Magic 105.4 Q 1,415 1,581 11.7
Premier Christian Radio Q 223 170 -23.8
Sunrise Radio H 405 346 -14.6
Time FM 106.8 H 17 15 -11.8
Time FM 107.3 H 11 15 36.4
Virgin 105.8 FM Q 997 864 -13.3
XFM 109.4 Q 502 572 13.9

Chrysalis-owned Heart 106.2 suffered the most significant decline in share of listening, which slipped by 1.8% points year on year during the third quarter to 5.4%. Capital 95.8 managed to stay well ahead of its closest rival with a slight 0.2% points increase during the same period to 7.2%.

Meanwhile, Jazz FM saw its share of London listening rise by 0.2% points year on year to 2.2% as its mix of easy listening continued to prove popular with its core audience of 25 to 54 year olds. Urban music station Choice FM also performed well with a more notable 0.7% rise to 3.2%. The station recently unified its content to present advertisers with a stronger environment and a larger combined audience (see Capital Unifies Choice Frequencies For Combined Output).

News-focussed LBC 97.3 saw its share of listening decline by 0.2% year on year to 2.2%, but sister station LBC News 1152 managed to hold firm at 0.6%. The Chrysalis-owned offerings recently came together with weekly financial newspaper, The Business, to create joint radio and press advertising packages for targeted clients and agencies (see LBC Stations Secure Cross-Media Deal With The Business).

Elsewhere, Premier Christian Radio dipped by 0.9% in year on year analysis to 0.6%, while Sunrise Radio saw its share of listening in the capital inch-up by a nominal 0.1% in the three months to September. Time FM 106.8 increased by 0.4% during the same period to 1.6% and sister station Time FM 107.3 rose by 0.2% to 1.2%.

September 2004 RAJAR Share Of Listening (%) Comparisons
Station Survey Period Ending Sep 2003 Ending Sep 2004 % Point Change
BBC London 94.9 Q 1.1 2 0.9
Capital 95.8 FM Q 7.0 7.2 0.2
Capital Gold London Q 2.3 1.7 -0.6
Choice FM London Q 2.5 3.2 0.7
Easy Radio Q 0.1 ** n/a
Heart 106.2 FM Q 7.2 5.4 -1.8
Jazz FM (London) Q 2.0 2.2 0.2
Kiss 100 FM Q 4.1 4.5 0.4
LBC 97.3 Q 2.4 2.2 -0.2
LBC News 1152 Q 0.6 0.6 0.0
Magic 105.4 Q 5.0 4.8 -0.2
Premier Christian Radio Q 1.5 0.6 -0.9
Sunrise Radio H 1.2 1.3 0.1
Time FM 106.8 H 1.2 1.6 0.4
Time FM 107.3 H 1.0 1.2 0.2
Virgin 105.8 FM London Q 2.6 2.6 0.0
XFM 109.4 Q 2.1 1.6 0.5
**Share Negligible        

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